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Subject: Runewars Strategy: Seizing YOUR Opportunities rss

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Joachim Poirel
France
Hohengoeft
Alsace
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What separates a good runewars player from a great player is the ability to identify, create and grasp your opportunities. People often forgo many chances that are given to them in Runewars when they try to follow a precise strategy during a whole game, because the genius in Runewars' design is the way in which it new opportunities and shifts in strategy each turn. I will discuss how to seize these opportunities in this article.


Identifying and using your opportunities

Often precious windows of opportunities are lost. Either because players think of each card or ability individually instead of the situation as a whole and avoid thoughts such as "what can this card do to help my military situation" or "how can this ability get me closer to my next rune" and instead think about a better theoretical occasion that might (but could very well not) come or are too afraid to not be able to handle the situation brought by that clever move and instead wait "one more turn" to be "better prepared". But by then the opportunity (and sometimes victory) is gone. I recall a game where I had the Lost City tactic and a hero in a great spot near a opponent. I was afraid to use my Lost City because it might trigger a all-out war. I was planning to recruit on the new stronghold but finally decided to Conquer a closer area from which I would be able to better defend my new Stronghold when I would play Lost City in the year . But it turned out that my opponent played a Conquer too and on the next year snatched the area before I could reclaim it. I had just lost the chance to deal a big blow to my opponent and wasted my great tactic.

A window of opportunity is just what it is: a short moment where you can gain a decisive advantage. Do not be afraid to go through it. As in almost any game, early advantages are better than late ones. Because a small early advantage CAN snowball into a big late one, even more so in 2p where no one else but your unlucky opponent can hopelessly try to stop your ever increasing advantage over him (because unlike you he didn't read this weird brilliant article ) and if you don't maintain pressure on your enemies be sure that that will give them momentum to seize the occasions that are given to them. And you do not want that.




Creating your opportunities

Many players have complained about the fact that they just aren't able to find a situation in which they can use all their fancy Tactic cards. Now what isn't always realized is that it is sometimes up to you to create the situation in which these can be put to good use. Lets imagine for a minute that you have the Horrific Rumors tactic card (that allows you to place an enemy Activation token on a area of your choice) in your hand but do not think you need to play it as your defenses are quite good. What do you do? Not keeping it in your hand and wait for a opportunity to play it to come on a silver platter that may very well never come. You attack a opponent's key position then play this card on the area you just conquered to give you time to fortify it before he counterattacks. Simple as that. There are many other examples in which you can use that new but seemingly useless card you just got:
Do not let the game dictate you what to do. Dictate the game.
Of course the same can apply for any cards you draw like Rewards or gasp! Commander cards.


Grasping them correctly
Despite all my talk about not refusing occasion that are proposed to you, you must remain at least a (little) cautious. Runewars is a game where situations can change VERY quickly. Just because you played that awesome move does not mean that your enemies do not have an equally awesome move to counter it. You might become King of the Hill, but against equally skilled opponents, your supremacy can and will not survive in a game like Runewars. So your awesome reckless and bold move (hopefully) impressed everyone at the table. Now what do you do? For a short period you will have the ability to safely take actions that you normally wouldn't, to have a bit more breathing space. That extra breathing space can usually either be used to press further that advantage, increasing the pressure (and in consequence, your momentum) or resting upon your new resources to improve fields in which your faction is lacking (say if your Reinforcements tactic gave you some military breathing room you might be able to squeeze in a Rally support to improve your questing instead of the Garrison you were planning for). You just need to find a way to capitalize your temporary advantages into more durable ones.

I hope this article, even if a bit abstract, will help you understand the importance of tactics over strategy in Runewars. Understanding opportunities in Runewars did quite a lot to improve my game. I hope it will for you too.





Link to my other Runewars strategy articles:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16479076#16479076: Analyzing the Map
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16479076#16479076: Influence farming
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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
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Fun to see this game treated in this way!

I find my major challenge in evolving into a good player is convincing anyone to play this game with me at all. It has sat on my shelf for a couple of years now, and I have still never completed a single game.
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Brian
United States
Massachusetts
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All your write-ups have been great.

Thanks
 
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